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Why you should consider family office services for your family wealth

PUBLISHED: 15:07 12 November 2019 | UPDATED: 15:46 12 November 2019

Nick Smail explains what a family office is. Picture: Will Pascall UK

Nick Smail explains what a family office is. Picture: Will Pascall UK

Will Pascall UK

'Family office' services are a familiar part of life if you're one of the UK's wealthiest families but you don't need to be one of these to protect your family's future.

Hazlewoods produce a red book for their clients that gives the family all the information they need in one place. Picture: DreamslifeHazlewoods produce a red book for their clients that gives the family all the information they need in one place. Picture: Dreamslife

To find out what a family office is and why it's not just for the rich and famous, we asked Nicholas Smail, Partner at Hazlewoods to tell us more:

What is a family office?

There are a huge number of definitions and types of family office. Ultimately it's a one-stop place for families from successful business owners through to the mega wealthy, where all their financial planning, tax planning and accounting needs are managed. Whether it's large or small, a family office should always be driven by the wishes of the family, making it easier for them to manage their wealth.

A family office should always be driven by the wishes of the family, making it easier for them to manage their wealth.
Picture: Getty Images / MisugoA family office should always be driven by the wishes of the family, making it easier for them to manage their wealth. Picture: Getty Images / Misugo

Who should use a family office?

If you hold assets with a value in excess of £5 million you should be looking at family office services. That's a lot of money but when you consider property and land assets, family business and shares, your family's overall wealth soon adds up.

One of the biggest benefits of a family office is that it can enable the smooth and efficient transition of private wealth between different generations of a family. At Hazlewoods we're currently working with the fourth generation of some families.

How can I secure my family wealth for the future?

It's really about understanding the family balance sheet and the needs of all family members.

Thinking about inheritance tax, succession or trusts which were set up years ago can be hard to do but it's really important that you work with someone you trust and can balance giving good advice with fulfilling your wishes.

I'd recommend starting with having the basics in place such as an up to date Will and letters of wishes for any trusts and pensions.

We often produce a 'red book' for our clients at Hazlewoods - it gives the family all the information they need in one place; bringing together trusts, businesses, property, investments and any other assets, and a summary of key documents such as Wills which can help the family see the complete picture for their convenience and understanding.

Is the family office becoming more popular?

Family offices certainly aren't new but in recent years there has been an increase in various types of family office services offered by financial institutions and people with a high net worth wanting to take more control of their wealth.

The right advice from a trusted partner

As one of the UK's top 30 independent chartered accountants and business advisers, with over 360 staff in Gloucestershire, talking to one of the team at Hazlewoods could prove invaluable to help protect your family for the future.

Visit hazlewoods.co.uk or call on 01242 680000.

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